Bigfoot Book Research vs. Bigfoot Field Research

While I’m on the topic of Bigfoot research I thought I’d throw this one at you…

Ever since I started blogging about Bigfoot I’ve come across the field research vs. book learning controversy. Apparently some people think they’re better researchers because they spend more time in the forest. Personally, I think that’s rather silly. It takes a big ego to think you’re a better “anything” than others… but I’m not here for psychology lessons.

We’re all struggling to learn about something that hasn’t been proven to be real (unless you, personally, have seen one or someone you implicitly trust has seen one.) Still, working mainly with eyewitness accounts and somewhat with physical evidence such as footprints and the Patterson-Gimlin film, we’ve pieced together a mental picture of what Bigfoot people are like. Adding to that we’ve tossed in a variety of theories that are mental constructs that may or may not be valid.


There are two main ways to learn about Bigfoot.
(1) By reading what others have written, or talking to eyewitnesses, or doing computer research. All second-hand information.
(2) By going out into the forest to follow up on Bigfoot sighting reports, or to try to set up conditions for a personal Bigfoot encounter. This is called squatching. These are attempts to have first-hand experiences and to collect your own evidence.

The idea that field research is better is, to my way of thinking, pure nonsense. There’s lots to be learned by studying the work of others and by listening to people talk about their Bigfoot sighting experiences.

Also, I feel that in some ways, for many people, field research is a huge waste of time. People suit up and enter the woods for ‘research’ knowing full well that finding a Bigfoot walking around out there is extremely unlikely. You’d probably have the same chance of winning the state lottery. So field research is often like a glorified camping trip with high-tech recording and camera equipment on board.

Really, squatching is a lot of fun and I’m not dissing it. If you love camping and being in the woods, go for it! But don’t expect to see a Bigfoot because you probably won’t. They are much better at avoiding us than we are at encountering them.

Squatching reminds me of teenagers daring each other to go into a graveyard on Halloween night. It is fun to be out in the scary old woods at night with a small group of friends, listening for anomalous sounds and hoping not to be attacked by a cougar or a bear. Way cool! And if you happen to hear a Bigfoot-type scream or whoop or whistle, you feel like you’ve just hit paydirt… however Bigfoot sightings are 99.99% experienced by people who had no prior thoughts of Bigfoot, who just happened to be driving by or walking in the woods, and were confronted by something totally unexpected. I am beyond thinking that going into the woods with scream machines will do much more than make Bigfoot people chuckle while avoiding you.

On the other hand, using Don Campbell’s Bigfoot-attraction techniques may help increase your chances. A few others have had success at locating Sasquatches as well. What they have in common is that they don’t work with large groups who would no doubt send the signal to Bigfoot people to stay away.

So, read a book, read about Bigfoot on computer sites, talk to people who saw them in the woods, and in your spare time, go camping at a Bigfoot hot spot just for fun. Both book research and field research are worth doing and if you’re a Bigfoot research enthusiast, you’ll probably want to do both.

19 Replies to “Bigfoot Book Research vs. Bigfoot Field Research”

  1. I hardly think that this is an ‘either/or’ situation. Now, common sense tells you that the only way for an account to get into a book is by someone being out there and having an encounter or finding evidence, so field research is necessary. However, all this experience must be recorded so it can be analyzed & studied. The two compliment each other; they are both key components to Bigfoot research. Does anyone really think that you can have one and not the other?

  2. Not an April fool’s joke Lee, April 1st is not for Bigfoot in my book, Linda, I have pics and video from March, now for April, 12 MP HD video of at least 2 creatures in a brush pile peeking above it as I walked by them on 04-02-10, Video is under analysis. We’re gonna call it the “Wack-a-mole” video. It’s taken from 15 feet away, a full facial shot on one of the creatures..in focus..oh yes..more coming as I’m in the woods daily now except for today, Easter Sunday. Sounds too good to be true I know, but wait and see what happens…we have a plan to collect concrete proof of existence, and document the creatures without harming them, but we have to get it before they move from the area. Chris B.

  3. Good job Chris, I don’t suppose your last posting had anything to do with the date you posted it on, do you?

  4. This is why I am looking from the sky, not from the woods, I can cover about 20-30sq miles a night. With my blimp an the high tec cameras, I can see anything as big as a person up to a mile away! William Barnes (Bigfoot24-7.com)

  5. I don’t think they can read our minds or emotions or desires. I’ve had 2 encounters during the month of March. I was in the woods of course during both encounters. Carrying a 44 mag pistol and a camera. The pistol never left the holster but the camera did. If I had stayed at home during the month of March, I could have read a bit on the web I guess, but I wouldn’t have had those experiences. I’ll keep those with me for the rest of my life. Time well spent in the woods, and well worth the pain. I’ll be in the woods again tomorrow if I’m able.

    1. Chris, did you get your picture? My camera takes too long to boot up. Now when I drive the Klamath River Highway (Bigfoot Scenic Byway) at night, I keep it on all the time, just in case!

  6. Amen Linda, some of the greatest discoveries and encounters have happened “by chance” and most in broad daylight. My boyhood dream was to live in the area you’re in now. I’m jealous! I think everyone in this field should better try to get along and appreciate each other. Cooperation though is mostly nill. Why is that? I wonder.. Sometimes I feel as if it’s a race between research groups to see who brings proof of existence in first. I’ve even heard stories of some research groups destroying evidence after they were finished with it… Some seem more “dedicated” than others, some even obessed. I guess if I could do this full time, I would too. But I can’t , so I spend only the time I can afford to in the pursuit. Back in ’08 during the GA hoax, (before it was revealed) there were plenty researchers disappointed that they wouldn’t be sharing the fame and fortune of bringing our friends into the science books. I’ll admit, I was one of the disappointed. I think almost everyone that has had an encounter/sighting with these creatures has a driving need to prove to the World, they’re not crazy, these things really do exist….Someone’s dream will come true someday, maybe soon, but that one dream fulfilled will destroy thousands…….Dreams or Creatures? That’s the problem isn’t it….I don’t know which….maybe both….
    Again, just my thoughts….
    Chris B.

    1. I think motivation is a big factor in whether we’re ever going to see one. Can they read our emotions, thoughts, or motivations? I tend to think they can and if we carry with us the desire to profit from our encounters, possibly we won’t have any.

  7. I think that in order to find new evidence, you have to go and look for it. Bigfoot Researcher is a free title and it’s available to anyone that ever read or saw anything about Bigfoot…..regardless if they’ve ever been in the woods or not. Field Research is where new evidence is found, if you can’t see the importance of new evidence being uncovered, then there’s no way you can ever seriously expect to sit in a chair and read about it…Field Research is THE most important aspect of Bigfoot Research. The Field Researcher doesn’t require a “reader” to learn new info and collect new evidence in the field, but the arm chair researcher DOES require the findings of the Field Researchers to learn anything new….Think about that. I’m not suggesting everyone take sides. The term “better” doesn’t apply. Research of known facts IS important in order to increase overall knowledge certainly. But just as certainly, discovering those facts is first required in order to research anything. No men in the field = nothing for the arm chair researcher to read about…think about it…and please don’t compare or classify Bigfoot Researchers. I personally walked 4 miles in the woods yesterday uncovering new evidence, I think we have a different outlook on Bigfoot research. I think your kind of research may be limited to learning and comparing previously known facts. My kind of Research is that AND ALSO to gather new evidence in the field and doing what it will take to prove to science the existence of our large friends. We both do things our own way but our method is not the same now is it……I agree to say “better” is nonsence, but now you could say the field researcher is doing “more” safely. Just my thoughts. Chris B.

    1. Chris, it seems like more evidence is found in the field by people who aren’t looking for it. In any case, I do think both types of research are important (as I said in the article.) I live in the Klamath National Forest only fifty miles from the Bluff Creek film site and am in the forest daily. In fact, I’m going to go take a hike right now!

  8. Mr. Pat McWhorter, you just made a nice contribution by posting your comment on this website. Your knowledge, opinions, and encouragement to others who are able to go into the field can only benefit them. The Bigfoot phenomenon is a fascinating subject. Any mode of study and research, if it helps the cause, ( or actually cracks the case wide open!) should be acceptable by all who want to know what Bigfoot is all about. So stay after it, Pat, and happy hunting. LAB

  9. I’m in a wheelchair, so getting out in the woods is not a viable option for me. I have and continue to read a ton of material on the topic and consider myself as knowledgeable as most about this magnificent creature. Just wish there was a way i could contribute more to the research cause in some way that doesn’t involve field work. I would give my eye teeth for the chance to get out there in the woods. So, I think both means of research are beneficial to this study.

  10. By the way guys, Wednesday night at 8 pm central time, Monster quest on the history channel isshowing a special on the Sierra-Nevada Bigfoot. Check it out, the preview looked good.

  11. I enjoy both, I like to hear and read about other peoples experiences but i also like to go out and try to have my own. The only thing about only reading or hearing second hand is people can write down or talk about anything and they can also make it sound like the coolest thing that ever happened to anybody. But to really have it happen to you I bet is the best feeling in the world.

    I also like Lee’s comment, to be that .01 percent you have to get out there.

  12. I think both forms of research (secondary research: reading a book or searching online and primary research: heading into the forest) are both worthwhile. One isn’t really better than the other and let’s face it, most of us may never have a Class A sighting — so get used to secondary research and hearing about others’ experiences.

    This is one of the reasons I have focused my researched on Habituation Sites. Rather than roaming the forest, I hope to focus my research on an area where BFs are known to travel. It is, however, a waiting game and allows me time for plenty of reading and waiting.

  13. It is 100% proof positive that if you do nothing but set in front of your computer or merely listen to or go by what other people are saying that you are never going to find a bigfoot. At least there is that .01% chance of seeing one if you are out in the forests looking.

  14. Great post Linda! Research is research. Period.

    At Bigfoot Lunch Club we believe in inclusiveness. We feel when others apply a higher value to a particular type of research it is dismissive to contributions already made in the Bigfoot community.

  15. Before you can read about it in a book, Somebody has to make an observation. There are thousands of sightings of bigfoot crossing the road. Not much is learned from such accidental sightings. If we are ever going to get any detailed knowledge of bigfoot, somebody is going to have to go out and study these creatures.
    Not everybody who is deeply interested in bigfoot has the resources or stamina to get out into the wild areas where bigfoot dwells. Some of these people may be able to make sense out of some of the information brought back by the primary researchers. I would personally rather go out and see bigfoot for myself. Unfortunately, I am 70 years old and in poor health. All I can do is root for the researchers of my choice and speculate and try to make inferences based on what information I believe to be true. I don’t try to be any expert, my ideas stand on their own, and many heads are better than one. I’ll say what I think is true, regardless of whether someone thinks I don’t have the right because I haven’t actually been out in the woods chasing after bigfoot.

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